Opinion: Five things we learned from Tottenham’s 2-0 defeat to Sporting Lisbon

Champions League
(Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur were defeated in Lisbon this evening by an impressive Sporting side, with the Portuguese club scoring two late goals to sink Conte’s men.

Let’s take a look at the five things we learned:

First defeat of the season – After eight games across all competitions this season, Tottenham have now tasted their first defeat, a 2-0 away loss to Sporting Lisbon. The game followed a very familiar pattern, in truth, with Spurs starting slow and then struggling to create against a stubborn back line. In the last few minutes, it seemed Tottenham and Conte were content with a point, only to be punished for such thoughts.

Marcus Edwards MOTM – Ironically, it was a Tottenham boy who impressed the most in the club’s first defeat of the season, academy graduate Marcus Edwards. The tricky winger started the game at false nine before drifting wide, and everything he touched turned to gold in Lisbon. He very nearly opened the scoring with a mazy Messi-esque run in the first half, and created numerous dangerous attacks for his side across the 90. Could he be one Spurs look toward in future transfer windows?

Emerson Royal problems – It has been a season of mixed performances for Emerson. While he has looked solid defensively, he has lacked any killer instinct in attack. That was firgiveable when Spurs were winning and earning clean sheets, but his shortcomings rise to the surface when defensive errors creep into play. The Brazilian was woeful at both ends of the pitch today, with fans calling to see more of Matt Doherty and Djed Spence.

Kulusevski return – It seemed harsh that Conte benched Kulusevski for the third game in a row, considering how impressive the Swede has been this season. And Dejan clearly reminded the manager of that after coming off the bench, arguably being Tottenham’s most potent attacking threat despite playing just 20 minutes. With Son continuing his poor form and Kane having an awful game, the former Juventus man will surely be back in the XI at the weekend.

The group – Tottenham are now three points off the top of Group D, with Sporting boasting a perfect score so far. If Spurs want to finish as group leaders and get a favourable draw in the next round, they are going to have to improve over their double header against Eintracht Frankfurt, and perhaps beat Sporting at home later in the year. Frankfurt and Marseille are in action tonight and one of them could draw level on points with Spurs (3).

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